Summary: Have you ever lost anything or been lost. It can be scary. When we find something we lost, we are ecstatic. Could we get a little excited when God finds someone?
- You remember the day, when you were walking along in the store, looking around you discover that your child you thought was following you is not and they are nowhere to be seen
- You remember when you’ve gone out into the vast sea of parking stalls at night, thinking you remember exactly where you parked but the parking lot looks a lot different at night than it did during the day. Every little sound sets you on edge. You frantically look around trying to find your car.
- Job interview at one location – thought I was supposed to go somewhere else
- Being lost at Ft. Riley story
- It is calming to know that God feels no terror knowing that some people in this world are lost.
- Does that means He doesn’t care?
- Far from it! He shows persistence, diligence and care in finding those that are lost.
- Better yet, He rejoices when He recovers that which was lost.
- But how about us? Are we excited about finding that which is lost?
- We are excited about finding the $20 that he shoved in our pants pocket in haste or stuffed into our purse quickly
- How enamored would we be if a shabbily dressed person with the tattoos sits in our pew at chapel? How about the lady with the long, stringy hair who wreaks of cigarette smoke that wants to lay a hug on us? Or the family with the kids who get a little rowdy during the sermon? Do we rejoice that they are members of God’s family? Why not?
- Do we actually pick and choose who we are going to talk to about Jesus because some are not God’s kind of people? Well I got a message for you today.
- There are some chapters in the Bible that are known by names given them by Christians
1 Corinthians 13 - The Love Chapter.
Hebrews 11 - The Faith Chapter.
- We could call Luke 15 the Lost and Found chapter
- Luke relates three parables told by Jesus about things that were lost and were found
- Two of them are rather short and make up the bulk of our text for today and then there is a third – the Prodigal Son which we won’t talk about today
- First, let’s set the stage for this teaching from Jesus – our text says he was eating with tax collectors and sinners
- These people were looked down upon in their society but for the most part they were normal people who had to work very hard to make ends meat
- People were looked down upon by the religious leaders of the day if they were not able to take time to study the Torah – the first five books of the Old Testament
- The tax collectors were especially despised because by collecting taxes for the Romans they were seen as consorting with the enemy – some like Zacchaeus did see it as an opportunity to defraud their own people
- But they weren’t necessarily especially perverse people – they were hard working folks that in some cases made some poor choices that led them down a wrong path
- With whom do you share a meal? Family, friends, church family
- Do you eat with someone you hate, despise, an enemy? NO
- The religious leaders mutter about Jesus’ acceptance of them – he not only welcomes them but he accepts them – he eats with them – sign of true acceptance